Yahoo! Clues Offers an Inside Look at Trending Search Patterns

Yahoo! is coming on strong this week with several announcements that prove they are well and truly still in the game. Today, they’ve unveiled the beta test of Yahoo! Clues and I could play in this one all day.

Yahoo! Clues is designed to help you data-mine trending search terms. When you research a term, you’re presented with a graph that shows the highs and lows of the trend over the past week or month. It then breaks down the search into gender, age, income and location and it offers additional search terms along with actual search paths that people have taken.

Google Goggles Ties Online and Offline Brand Experience Together

Google Goggles, while still relatively new, has a lot of potential (in my opinion so feel free to disagree) and will become more important in the future.

Essentially it’s visual search technology. Google is taking that technology and working with some big brands to integrate visual search with brand campaigns in the mobile space. The idea is to take the offline marketing of a brand and allow a gateway into the online world via a mobile device.

Here is a video showing the concept in action. You can read more about it at the Official Google blog.

What’s your take on this kind of potential advertising / marketing vehicle? Do you see your brand or company trying to do something similar? Is this for just the big players or can the smaller businesses of the world benefit as well?

Trackur Launches Social Media Monitoring API

My company, Trackur, is fast approaching its 3rd birthday–that makes us practically ancient among social media monitoring tools! :-)

To celebrate, we are finally launching a feature that has been requested pretty much since day one: an API!

Yes, the Trackur API will free companies from the Trackur dashboard and instead allow them to take our data in either XML or JSON formats and do with it as they please!

What are some of the ways the Trackur API can be put to good use?

  • Provide your clients with social media monitoring within your own interface
  • Build internal competitive intelligence tools
  • Use our data for SEO link building–find relevant and authoritative bloggers to send link requests to! ;-)

Google’s Hotpot: Recommendations and Reviews for the In Crowd

There has been a lot of talk about Google developing a social product that we will see this fall (Google Me). Actually that talk was over the summer and since then there has been little talk at all. In fact, when it comes to the social front all of the talk has belonged to location based services in general with Facebook making announcement after announcement of their attempts to get their hand further into the social graph.

So yesterday while Facebook was announcing their latest ‘end of the world as we know it’ offering around messaging and backpedaling on the Gmail killer talk Google introduced its own step into the social world using Place Pages as the anchor. I’m not surprised by the move since Place Pages importance have grown in prominence over the past few months and it was obvious that Google was gearing up for something.

Facebook Messaging Sounds Good. . . In Theory

Bang the gong. Facebook has an announcement. They’ve taken the wraps off their new messaging system which has been referred to as the “Gmail Killer.” Gmail can send the bodyguards home, they’re not in danger. . . not yet.

I spent some time watching the videos and reading the articles and I’ve come to the conclusion that my Facebook messaging preferred punctuation is not the exclamation mark or even the question mark but the ellipsis (. . . ). I chose this mark because the new roll-out sounds great. . . in theory, but in practice, I’m not so sure.

Are Deal Sites Making Consumers Jaded?

If you visit Whole Foods in the next few weeks, you could earn yourself a refreshing Tazo tea just for checking-in at the checkout counter. The promotion is being run by Foursquare competitor Gowalla and it includes opportunities to earn a $25 Whole Foods gift certificate or other related “goodies.”

This is another great example of using location-based apps to promote a product so I was surprised to see a writer for Daily Finance taking the program to task.

“Um, wonderful. So I’m going to check in at Whole Foods and enter a contest to win a whopping $25 gift card and maybe some special team items that aren’t even mentioned in this promo. I’m sorry, Gowalla. A contest for a $25 gift card simply isn’t going to cut it in an era of total Groupon frenzy with 75% discounts on hot restaurants”

Google Adds Product Search Enhancements Sometime in the Very Near Future … We Guess

In fine Google fashion the search giant has ‘announced’ some feature additions to their Product Search offering that can be explained in post on their blog but not replicated in the wild (at least by the blogger yet). As was pointed out to me, the post actually said the improvements would be made ‘this week’ so silly me for reading a post on new features and assuming that they could actually be used.

At any rate, when these changes come down the pike Google’s Product Search will have some new features that will include “In Stock” notifications and a way to find what nearby stores have the item you are looking for. Of course that is assuming that the retailer is part of the program etc, etc, etc.